Rebuild your super after COVID-19
Has your super taken a hit?
If COVID-19 has impacted your finances, you’re not alone.
Around 3.5 million Australians1 accessed their super early to help alleviate financial stress caused by shutdowns and job losses, including more than 10,000 Media Super members.
Around 1 million people lost their jobs in Australia in 2020, meaning they weren’t receiving any super contributions. Many people saw their hours drastically cut and only received lower or irregular contributions. Lots of freelancers and self-employed workers were unable to make their usual super contributions.
Unfortunately, withdrawing some of your super early or having a break in super contributions has impacted your retirement balance – but there are simple steps you can take to help rebuild the super you withdrew and boost your balance, no matter your age.
Consolidate – get all your super together in one account
Consolidating your super into one account is an easy but powerful step to help you boost your retirement savings.2
Combining your super into one account eliminates multiple sets of fees and possibly insurance premiums. Plus, with all your super in one account you’ll maximise the power of compound interest. It’s also easier to keep track of and manage just one account.
Finding and combining your super accounts is easy and only takes a few minutes online. Get started by logging into your account and head to the ‘Find My Super’ page.
Make extra contributions – every dollar makes a difference
Whether you’re trying to rebuild the balance you withdrew last year or make up for a break in contributions, making additional contributions to your super is a great way to grow your balance (and potentially reduce your tax).
There are a number of options and you can easily change your additional contributions depending on your circumstances now and in the future.
There are two types of super contributions:
- before-tax (known as concessional), which includes your employer contributions (Super Guarantee) and salary sacrifice
- after-tax (known as non-concessional).
Depending on your income, if you make additional after-tax contributions you might be eligible to receive a co-contribution from the Federal Government.
Set up a regular contribution
You’d be surprised how much difference even a small additional contribution per fortnight can make over your working life. The younger you are, the greater the benefit of extra contributions will be by the time you retire, as your balance grows with the power of compounding interest.
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$5 per fortnight
$10 per fortnight
$20 per fortnight
$50 per fortnight
Based on a 30 year old with an annual income of $50,000 before tax, with a starting balance of $25,000, making additional contributions via salary sacrifice, retiring at age 67. (Industry SuperFunds ‘Add extra to your super’ calculator, https://www.calc.help/industrysuper/add-extra-to-your-super).
Use the ‘Add extra to your super’ calculator to see the impact of different contribution amounts and figure out which contribution type (or combination) will give you the biggest boost.
Make a one-off contribution
You can also make one-off after-tax contributions, a great option for freelancers and self-employed members, or if you’re working short-term contracts where you don’t receive employer contributions. You may also want to consider using some of your tax return to boost your super.
Recontribution of COVID-19 early release superannuation amounts
This measure allows you to recontribute to your super up to the amount you withdrew early without it counting towards your annual after-tax contributions cap. You can make these recontributions between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2030.
You can choose to access the measure by completing and sending us the ATO’s approved form. If you aren’t approaching your annual after-tax contributions cap, it may not be necessary to complete the form. You should consider whether this is right for your situation and may want to consult a financial adviser or tax agent.
To learn more about the recontribution measure and eligibility criteria, head to the Recontribution of COVID-19 early release payments page or call the Helpline.
Consider spouse contributions
If you’re part of a couple and earn less than $40,000, you could consider spouse contributions. These can help boost your balance and your partner may also be able to receive a tax offset.
Depending on your situation, making extra contributions might not be an option right now, and that’s ok. For now, understand your options and when you’re ready we’ll be here to help you find the best strategy for you.
Consider your investment options
Your investment choices can have a significant impact on your super balance when you retire. Depending on your age, how long you have until you plan to retire and your tolerance for risk (among other factors), you may want to consider a more growth-oriented investment option, such as the Growth or High Growth options, to grow your balance faster.
Get started by reading our helpful guide to choosing an investment option and taking the risk profile questionnaire.
Then take a look at the Investment Guide for full details about our investment options and which might suit your needs.
And if you have any questions or would prefer to talk through your options, our team is here to help. Call the Helpline on 1800 640 886 to speak to our Helpline Advisors.3
Downsizing your home? Put the money into super
If you’re over 65 and downsize your home, you may be able to contribute up to $300,000 to your super from the proceeds of the sale. This is an excellent option for boosting your super balance if you’re close to retirement.
Check your insurance cover
If you accessed your super last year and your balance became insufficient to pay your insurance premiums, your cover may have been cancelled. Adequate insurance cover is an important part of your financial wellbeing; however, please consider the potential impact that insurance premiums may have on your super balance over time.
You can check your current insurance cover by logging into your account or calling the Helpline. If your cover has been cancelled, you can always reapply for cover.
Find out more about your insurance options through Media Super. If you have any questions, please call the Helpline.
Let us help you work out the best boosting strategy for you
Everyone is different. The best strategy to help you rebuild and boost your super should be suited to your unique situation.
Our Helpline team can help you work out a customised contribution strategy that will maximise your contributions to help your super balance grow faster. They can also talk you through your investment options and risk profile and help you figure out the option best suited to your needs.
There’s no cost associated with receiving advice from our Helpline Advisors. This service is available to all Media Super members.
The Helpline can also help you with any questions your might have about contributions, investment options or your account generally.
Call us on 1800 640 886, Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 7.00pm – we’re always here to help.
1. APRA COVID-19 Early Release Scheme weekly reporting – Issue 36 (https://www.apra.gov.au/covid-19-early-release-scheme-issue-36)
2. Before making a decision to combine your superannuation, you should consider any costs, change to insurance cover or loss of benefits that may apply and, if necessary, consult a qualified financial adviser.
3. Helpline Advisers providing general or limited advice are representatives of Mercer Outsourcing Australia Pty Ltd (MOAPL) ABN 83 068 908 912, AFS Licence 411980.